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The Worst Journey in the World: With Scott in Antarctica 1910-1913 Paperback – March 24, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time that has ever been devised" wrote Apsley Cherry-Garrard in a deceptively jaunty introduction to this classic story of bravery and fortitude first published in 1922. The story he relates is of Scott's last expedition to the Antarctic. From its departure from England in 1910 to its arrival in New Zealand in 1913, it is one of the most famous and tragic in the annals of exploration. Driven by an obsession for scientific knowledge, these brave polar explorers embarked on a journey into the unknown, testing their endurance by pushing themselves to the ultimate physical and mental limits as they surveyed the striking and mammoth land that lay far to the south.
Cherry-Garrard was himself a member of the expedition that had two goals: to discover as much as was scientifically possible about the terrain and habitat of Antarctica, and to be the first to reach the South Pole. The party was plagued by bad luck, weather conditions of unanticipated ferocity, and the physical deterioration of the party on the last part of the journey. Confronted by the shattering knowledge that Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole a month before them, Scott's party then had to negotiate the last, heroic part of their journey, a doomed attempt which has entered modern mythology.
The Worst Journey in the World is the inside story of this most famous of journeys and is truly one of the best and most moving books of travel ever written. Join Scott's expedition as he and his team venture deep into the frozen unknown. This volume is the second in the continuing series of Explorers Club Classic books.

About the Author

Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) served as a biologist for the ill-fated Antarctic expedition. Haunted by his experiences, the English explorer suffered from clinical depression for the rest of his life and was encouraged by his friend George Bernard Shaw to write this memoir as a form of therapy.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (April 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486477320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486477329
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,556,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Worst Journey in the World has been called the one of the greatest travel book in English, and not just by me. At one time it was about to go out of print and was brought back from the edge of death by enthusiasts writing appreciations of it for magazines and newspapers. It is a fabulous, hair-raising page-turner about a group of intrepid Englishmen, part of the doomed Scott polar expedition, who rather breezily set off in the polar winter on a side expedition to the coast to get eggs of the emperor penguin for scientific study. Sub-zero temperatures! howling winds! crummy equipment! arctic darkness! stiff (literally) upper lips! They are all there.
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It would be difficult to exaggerate the impression this book made on me. Knowing how it ends does not for a second take away any of the suspense and awe of this story. Cherry-Girard is able to make you understand what kept these men going. You grow to admire them, root for them and even to love them. They were such gentlemen. Their bravery was without bravado. Courtesy never lapsed under the absolute worst imaginable strains.
Reading this book made me want to go and see that continent, so beautiful were his descriptions. I did go see it, and would return in an instant if I got the chance.
I am a woman past middle age, and yet this story of adventure and scientific discovery is one of my all time favorite books. Believe me, you will not be sorry you spent some time on Robert Scott's expedition to the south pole.
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Words fail me when I talk about the Heroic Age of the Antarctic explorations of the past century so to describe this and similar books I purchased here and read: "Endurance" (Shackleton's voyage of 1914-17); "Birdie Bowers - Captain Scott's Marvel"; "Captain Scott's Last Expedition" (his diaries); this "Worst Journey..." I just take off my hat, bow to the experiences and courage of both the authors and their characters, and hold a respectful silence.
The author of this particular book has gone long lengths at I guess a great personal expense to revive his memories, put them to words, make a selfless effort to decorate them with delicate humour, scrape to the surface every single raw detail and present us with the vivid and precious description of the Worst Journey in the World.
Thank you, Cherry! Hope writing this book helped you, at least a little bit, to come to terms with what had happened in the great white vastness in that dreadful setting winter of 1912.
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the story itself is fantastic but this version of the book doesn't include the maps that are in the original version and are necessary to properly follow along their journeys.my advice is to make sure you purchase a version with the maps in it. not this one. had this version had the maps I would have given it 5 stars.
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I own several editions of this book; the rating is not for the work itself, which rates an unconditional five-stars, but for this particular edition. Please disregard this review if you are not bothered by typography issues, which is mainly the source of the criticism.

I generally enjoy Dover publications, however this modification of Worst Journey is rather odd. The dates have mostly been Americanized (month/day instead of the original British day/month), and there are some quirks to the typesetting that I found interesting but probably not worth implementing. For one example: ship names are not italicized as is customary, but in an old book with lots of references to ships, this proves to be a little incongruous in appearance. Far more taxing to the eye is the abandonment of setting off long quotes in a paragraph of reduced size ~ which is the classical way of dealing with long quoted passages, and there are a LOT of these. The result of having long quotes look exactly the same as the narration is a fair amount of visual confusion regarding who is speaking. There is evidence that this may have been set on a word processor: among other things, small caps are not true small caps but the faux version (reduced capitals), which is a giveaway of enthusiastic but, shall we say, amateur typesetting.

I am all for simplification, but I think a work such as this is too intricate to deserve a streamlined format. So with respect I give it a "fair" rating, and suggest looking at other editions if you are a connoisseur of the Scott Expedition as I am. If not, then this edition will probably serve adequately for informational purposes, but perhaps without the appropriate mood of other versions.
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